Why do MES need IIOT platforms?
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are brought together under the popular umbrella term Industry 4.0. IIoT is essentially the foundation of all smart manufacturing. Acting as a backbone, IIoT makes it possible for sensors, devices, machines, robots, controllers, databases, and information systems to communicate between each other. Because of this, IIoT was thought to replace MES as a device facing system. MES has not been replaced, instead, it has embraced IIoT and now adds much greater value as a data context system.
MES integrates with IIoT to improve data analysis, and root-cause analysis. IIoT collects data from sensors, devices, robots, controllers, etc., and provides that data to the MES which, possibly linked to other data systems like ERP, can add greater context to the IIoT data. By analyzing device data with details on customers, orders, bills of materials, etc. a complete and useful picture of data can be created.
This data context is important in the manufacturing environment where orders, materials, schedules, and more can rapidly change. Manufacturing teams rely on MES to make sense of and error-proof data through rules enforcement. This means that if a specific quantity of material is to be used, only that amount is allotted. Same goes for equipment, the types of tasks, and in what order. While the IIoT collects data on these processes, the manufacturing execution systems ensures their accuracy.